Special investigation: How Blair rescued Palestine deal worth $200m to his £2m-a-year paymasters
Tony Blair mounted an intense political lobbying campaign to rescue a struggling mobile-phone business owned by a client of the bank that pays him a £2 million annual salary.
The firm, Wataniya, had already built a brand-new network in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank.
But it almost collapsed before launching its service, jeopardising a £450 million investment, because Israel’s government was refusing to let it use the frequencies it needed to operate.
Acting in his capacity as the international Middle East peace envoy, Mr Blair helped to save the company by spending months putting pressure on Israel’s prime minister and his colleagues in a bid to change their minds.
An investigation by The Mail on Sunday has revealed:
Mr Blair spoke of the need to get Wataniya up and running in order to boost the Palestinian economy. However JP Morgan, the American investment bank that employs him as a consultant, has a financial stake in Wataniya through Wataniya’s owner, the Qatari firm Qtel, which is an important client of JP Morgan.